Jackson County, Mo., which includes Kansas City, has launched a registry for unmarried couples, including same-sex couples, The Kansas City Star reports. The registry affords couples no legal rights, but gay activists heralded it nonetheless as a significant step toward those rights.
"If you are in a committed relationship and together 30 to 40 years, you have the same responsibilities as other couples, owning property, raising children," said Jamie Rich, director of the Lesbian and Gay Community Center of Greater Kansas City. "It's a good way to get across that there is equal commitment and responsibility" in such relationships.
Ken Evans, spokesman for county executive Katheryn Shields, told the Star that several members of the community had requested the registry. "It was something reasonable we could do that wouldn't have any legal impact," he said.